|#1freefallFeb 21, 2004 22:35:38||There are a couple of Planescape books I'm thinking of getting, but still am not too sure about, so I thought I'd ask here and see what the general opinion of their quality is. The books are:|
Into the Abyss
The Deva Spark
Doors to the Unknown
Vortex of Madness (is this one actually a PS book?)
Oh, I don't care about spoilers, so your analysis/critiques can be as detailed as you want them to be. Thanks.
|#2bonemageFeb 21, 2004 23:18:04||Vortex of Madness (is this one actually a PS book?) |
no it is not a planescape product.
On the others I hope to have them read withing 2-3 weeks here but you named off a list of proudcts I just recently purchased. (I am now within 2 products of having the complete set and have read through most of them.)
|#3Shemeska_the_MarauderFeb 22, 2004 21:32:01||Doors to the Unknown is a very very very good module, one of my favorites ever. It also has a very different possible take on Estevan in there, and some more mysteries to throw on top of The Lady. Plus the idea of higher levels of reality.|
In the Abyss has been called one of the worst PS modules there is, however relative to the other PS modules it might be. Compared to anything else out there it's still pretty good, I liked it.
Vortex of Madness was interesting, though not a PS product. As I believe it was published after PS had been folded back into the main AD&D line.
|#4freefallFeb 25, 2004 15:49:12||Well, Doors to the Unknown sounds pretty interesting, and with that endorsement I think I'll be getting the PDF.|
Any opinions on the Deva Spark?
Oh, and would you happen to know why a lot of people think into the Abyss is such a bad module? I'd just like to hear the opinions.
|#5primemover003Feb 25, 2004 17:46:47||The Deva Spark was also pretty lame. While it was an interesting concept some of the game design was just screaming RAILROAD to me.|
All in all, Doors to the Unknown was pretty good. In the Abyss had it's moments, but it too kinda got muddled along the way.
Of all the Adventures I would recommend:
the Eternal Boundary
Well of Worlds
Tales from the Infinite Staircase
I hated Harbinger House, but HIGHLY recommend getting a Hard copy just for the art and the superb maps of the Lower Ward.
|#6OrnumFeb 25, 2004 18:03:06||Really, you hated Harbinger House? Wow, I absolutely loved that adventure. I was still relatively green as a DM when that came out, and it taught me how to successfully run games that are mostly non-combat oriented. It also taught my players a few things, namely how to actively think their way out of situations without relying on their old stand-by of "we can't figure it out, so we'll just attack". Considering that I was never tutored in D&D (either as a player, or a DM) and it was something that myself and my likewise D&D uneducated friends picked up and learned on our own, such an adventure was a blessing and a wonderful teaching tool. Those reasons alone keep that particular adventure close to my heart.|
|#7primemover003Feb 25, 2004 19:09:13||In at least 2 of the 3 times I tried to run HH it all ended at the rooftop chase. A single 10th level fighter is not a match for 6 level 5 PC's. Note: I was using the Player's Option:Combat and Tactics combat system. So AoO's and Criticals affected the outcome of the battle. |
It just wasn't a feasible encounter and also one of those types of encounters every good DM is taught not to write... Namely where the Bad guy needs to get away to further the story. I just won't funnel a party that way or fudge the dice to make sure Sougad gets through that Portal...
|#8OrnumFeb 25, 2004 19:29:38||Well, that was a potential hazard in mine as well. Luckily, one thing the players did well was stick together. Since there was only 4 characters in my version, things were a tad easier. First off, he managed to lay low (not kill, just hurt badly) two of the group (the mage and the fighter, I still can't believe that the player running the mage didn't have him hang back away from reach, but he learned his lesson), leaving only the thief and the cleric. The thief stayed to check on his friends, while the cleric healed them. This allowed Sougad, who was hurt badly himself, to get the headstart that he needed. After a delay, the thief tried to chase after him, but the headstart allowed Sougad to escape through the portal before the thief could catch up. Admittedly, if I had used a 6 member party, it would have been a hang up, but everything worked out without me having to cheat in any way, plus it taught the players in question to be alot more careful in further combat situations, both in the adventure, and in further adventures, in general (admittedly, my past combat scenerios greatly lacked in tactics, but I gradually learned).|
|#9Shemeska_the_MarauderFeb 25, 2004 21:50:10||I've heard the same issues with HH from a few different people, that scene in particular. I rather liked the storyline it gave, but having not run it myself I can't really comment on how the mechanics of the encounters work out.|
Of course I'll admit that on a deep level I elevate plot and story while treating mechanics and rules as secondary. (As long as you're consistant with how you rule for PC's and NPC's it doesn't seem to be an issue though. Fairness is essential to that more freeform approach in my experience. Albeit that experience is limited to two campaigns, one of them ongoing the other aborted, and a oneshot)
|#10bonemageMar 10, 2004 13:18:15||Would you guys suggest upping his levels a bit in Harbringer House to make sure he is a bit tougher and can make it through that portal or perhaps giving him some sort of extra armor or something along the lines of a ring of protection? I plan to run this module in my next campaign intermixed in the middle of Doors to the Unknown.|
|#11Shemeska_the_MarauderMar 10, 2004 13:21:36||I'd suggest playing fast and loose with the rules actually ;)|
|#12bonemageMar 10, 2004 13:55:43||You mean oh that's miss, nuts he must have a really high AC. ;) But how is that much different than just upping his stats a tad.|
|#13zombiegleemaxMar 29, 2004 16:18:20|
There are a couple of Planescape books I'm thinking of getting, but still am not too sure about, so I thought I'd ask here and see what the general opinion of their quality is. The books are:
I should think that all of these things must be out of print by now.
|#14OrnumMar 29, 2004 16:36:05||True, but with the pdf downloads available at svgames, it's cheap and easy to get them. Plus, some lucky people can find used copies at their local gaming store.|
|#15zombiegleemaxMar 30, 2004 2:13:46||I liked the Deva Spark. I do agree with the potential to be "railroaded but IMO it has a number of very cool encounters and a strong conclusion.|
I also really liked Doorways. Very good NPCs.
Vortex isn't really Planescape but the details of the City of Glass in the plane of water is fantastic. The adventures ore sufficiently generic that I think you could run them with different hooks other than the re-emergence of the artifact/machine thing.
|#16freefallMar 31, 2004 2:39:23||Wow, someone actually found this thread somewhere. I'd forgotten about it actually.|
Anyway, I got Doors to the Unknown, which was pretty good. I was kind of disappointed with how the "Hyper Reality" place wound up being just some undiscovered realm of Mount Celestia, and that Mercurials are all basically shiny happy people (bleh! Give me my cosmic menace, dammit!). They also seemed waaaaay too weak to be the threat the book proposed. I mean, outside their home realm, it looks like they couldn't even take a Planetar, or certainly not a Solar. Oh, and the Dabus pictures providind answers bugged me too. I mean, just how did the Dabus both figure out the key and have the means and motivation to leave Sigil and carve them into some rocks and such? I was under the impression that they never left the Cage. And why would they make it so hard to figure out anyway? Kind of falls into the "needlessly complicated" category.
Oh well, it was still pretty good, and I guess nothing's perfect.
So far I haven't heard too much on Into the Abyss so I might just skip that one. Doors to the Unknown I read some Amazon reviews of, and it just doesn't sound that interesting (not with already having Well of Worlds and Infinite Staircase). Deva Spark I'm still not sure of.
Oops. I meant Vortex of Madness doesn't sound interesting, not Doors to the Unknown.[/edit]
|#17Shemeska_the_MarauderMar 31, 2004 10:22:35||All hints of The Lady's presence outside of Sigil, plus The Lady having a view of events that transcended the normal bounds of linear time.|
Nothing definate, but seriously hinting. Never answers the questions fully though.
|#18freefallMar 31, 2004 16:30:06||No offense, but that sounds like a bit of reaching to me. I just remember reading that there were Dabus thought-pictures behind 3 of the doors. I don't remember it ever dropping even the slightist hint of how or why they are there. I'm more inclined to think "Writer's Oversight" than that they actually had a plan for the Lady being behind it. I mean, why would she even care. She didn't interfere with anything else outside of Sigil. Not even Tenebrous. He was much more dangerous than that puny Mercurial with delusions of grandeur (I don't care what the book says, there's no way that thing was a threat to the Multiverse, even without the gods).|
|#19Shemeska_the_MarauderMar 31, 2004 22:07:05||Well there was also the artifact there that was seemingly linked to The Lady (the bladed staff).|
There was an actual sidebar saying that the staff, its purpose, and its origins were beyond the scope of that module, and that it would be expanded upon in future supplements or modules if at all.
And considering the scope of The Lady, who's to say if the mercurial was a threat itself, or would lead to something worse if it was let loose. Small incremental changes engineered by The Lady over millennia to lead to a certain outcome we mortals, and even the powers, might be blind to. Who are we to say.
The module was filled with mysteries, up to an including Estevan being hinted at being either not a normal ogre mage, or one that was many many hundreds or thousands of years old.
|#20AgonarApr 11, 2004 5:41:20|
Originally posted by Bonemage
Wow old thread. . .
I loved Harbinger House and Eternal Boundary.
As for this encounter. . . Stoneskin. . . Or any other spell that grants limited protections. And, if the group consists of 6 players, I would definitely up the opposition a bit. Maybe even throw in a few lackeys for distraction purposes (Granted, been a while since I read this, and I don't recall if the situation would work with a few lackeys...all of my PS books are in a different state buried in my mother's garage, so I cannot look up anything for verificaton).
And since Planescape is all about taking conventional magic items and using them in non conventional ways (Ioun stones mounted into jewelry instead of buzzing arounf your head for example, Boots of Protection istead of in rings).. why not give him an amulet of invulnerabillity that replicates the powers of Plate mail of invulnerabilty. . . ala damage reduction.
No need to cheat the players. . . Give him the means to evade death, but if it is a physical means, just means that the players score on the item should they drop the guy.